I roamed and rambled, only without the pesky “roaming”…

Standard

Mornin’ all.

Family Holiday turned out fantastic! Great weather…perfect, in fact. Low 80s, but dry with a light breeze and plenty of shady trees to sit under. Great people. We had a couple folks pop in and they joined the revelry. Great kids, who didn’t have one single argument (except when they played a few rounds of Smash Bros. together, but with five kids taking turns smashing bros, that’s just part of the deal). The food came out awesome *toot toot of my own horn* and the stupid little games we had went over well. The teens at least tolerated most of them. That’s all I can ask! Sunday was perfect.

Yesterday, however, was not. I always say that life is a pendulum. Sunday was definitely the peek of the arc. Yesterday…yesterday was one of “those” days. I suppose if I didn’t have “those” days, I wouldn’t appreciate the Sundays as much. But jeez, Fate. I’m not stupid and you didn’t need to brow beat me. I could have inferred that lesson and still had at least one thing go right yesterday.

It started with the naive belief that I could emerge victorious from a battle with a mutinous appliance. I wrestled with my washing machine. AGAIN. Third time trying to fix it in less than a year. This time, it fought back.

Naw dude, you don’t even understand. It literally fought back. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but when I was unfastening the last bolt to remove the gear case, the whole internal assembly…shifted? Gained sentience just to eff me over? Harnessed the wisdom of a thousand Whirpool senseis to know the precise moment to launch a stealthy counter offensive? Dunno. What I *do* know is that I dragged myself out of the ring and hit the bell with a bleeding finger, a throbbing hand, and bruises on both my leg and my ego.

She won, folks. Long and short, I tasted the acrid tang of defeat. She sits there, looming uselessly in the corner. The outer casing that was sloppily slapped back together is slightly askew, tilting to one side in a sneer that lends an air of smug defiance.

I hate that washing machine. It’s a bubbling pool of loathing in the back of my throat that will not go away. Oh, my kingdom for a wrecking ball!

In the foul mood this clearly brought about, I went to the store. I hit a pothole so massive that I’m not entirely positive it wasn’t a portal to a different dimension. My beastie let out a blood-curdling scrape. I didn’t look. I haven’t looked. I’m too scared that I’ll get down and see a cartoonishly jagged rip underneath. We’re going with the Wile E. Coyote theory on this one and hoping for the best. As long as we don’t look, all is well.

Had to go to the school to pick up the youngest. He got out late, and we sat there. And sat there. And sat there, in the sticky and humid rain that was so hard we could only crack our windows, waiting for some selfless person to let us in the exit line. Didn’t happen. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my two decades of driving, it’s that rain erases all kindness on the road. “You want to get out? Well SCREW YOU! Can’t you see that it’s RAINING? What kind of moron would expect me to stop my three mile per hour escape to let them get to the road first in the RAIN? Pfft. Newb.”

It took twelve minutes. Twelve minutes of sitting there in a hot and steamy car in the rain watching the smirking faces of all the people who wanted to badly to flip me off and laugh as they passed, but knew they had to keep it together because the kids were in the car.

Did I mention the kiddo had to pee?

AND IT WAS RAINING???

Have you ever had to sit immobile in a steamy car in the rain for twelve minutes with a kid who had to pee? I’d rather not do that one ever again, Fate, k thx.

When I finally got out of the parking lot, I almost got pegged by my asshole neighbor who thinks every time he pulls out of the drive he’s suddenly transported to Talladega. He had the audacity to flip ME off for daring to drive on a public highway when HE wanted to peel out. I know. I’m such a douche like that. Then dinner was late, I knocked over an open soda can in the fridge (seriously, who leaves an open can of soda in the fridge? Either drink that shit or dump it out. Bad teenagers, bad.)

I guess what I’m saying is that it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad…

“Achem, Bethie? As your legal advisor, I must interject and stop you before you finish that phrase. You do not have the licensing rights to use it, in whole or in part.”

Oopsie! Almost forgot. Thanks. Let’s just hope Judith Viorst isn’t reading this.

*Author’s note: DUDE I totally mean the exact opposite of that. How flippin’ amazing would it be if Judith Viorst actually IS reading this? If you’re looking, Hey Jude! Don’t take it bad…*

“BETHIE NO!! DO NOT even THINK of continuing THAT one!!!”

*Jeez, chill, man. I said it as an aside between asterisks. Everyone knows an aside can’t be considered in a lawsuit as long as you put it between asterisks.*

“*blink**blink*…you have no idea how the law works, do you?”

*Of course not. I wouldn’t dream of stepping on your toes. Hey, can we just get back to the Muse now?*

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that as bad days go, it wasn’t exactly horrible. It wasn’t even in my top hundred list of bad days. But jeepers, one thing after the other just grates on my nerves, ya know?

Today has dawned with clear skies. I’ll take that as a good omen. It’s also the last day of school for the little one, who is already up and raring to go on the couch, finding it impossible to contain his excitement. I don’t mind an excited kid, but he’s not sticking to Morning Rule #1: No talking to Mum before the first cup of coffee is down the hatch. I’m giving him a pass, because I know just how much he’s itchy for this school year to end. I’ve got my headphones on so I can’t hear him, but he’s bopping around just in the edge of my vision and do you have any idea how utterly annoying that is and…hang on a sec. I’ll be right back.

…back. I handed him his tablet and he is now watching hilarious YouTube videos.

“Digital bribery?”

Stop raising that eyebrow at me because it’s not going to work. I’ve been at this parenting thing far too long to look at bribery as a bad thing. First kid? Nope. Nuh uh. No way. By the book with strict limits and gentle pleading and reminders that he needed to behave for the sake of personal pride he’d feel at adhering to the rules of the house and…

Second kid? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS RIGHT AND FAIR AND JUST IN THIS WORLD, TAKE THIS MAGIC BOX OF ELECTRIC AWESOMENESS AND GO IN YOUR ROOM AND LET IT ENTRANCE YOU SO MUMMY CAN GET FIVE MINUTES OF PEACE!!

You bet your sweet bippy I use digital bribery.

There were a couple news items I wanted to bring up today, but I’ve already rambled quite a bit, so I’ll be brief.

“Is that even possible?”

I’m going to ignore that remark since your legal guidance has been extremely beneficial this morning. But I’m putting you on notice.

Anyway, the first story is that Donald Trump is running for president.

Let me know when you’re done laughing. Or groaning. Or ranting. Or simply fed up with political stories already and the damn election is still so far away. This is not the first time Donald has claimed he was running for president. Anyone want to take bets on whether he actually sticks with it this time?

Even if he doesn’t, our options are getting broader and broader, huh?

Imma give you a list of our current official candidates:

On the Dem side, we’ve got: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee.

On the Rep side, we’ve got: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, and now Donald Trump.

As well as those, there are several people who are openly still “feeling out” the public before they decide. I don’t like this. I know it’s part of politics, but if you need to spend months publicly “feeling out” people before you decide if you’ll be president, I don’t want you in the oval office. Period. If you can’t make up your own mind on what you want, then I have no time for your ego stroking shenanigans. Someone who gets the job should want the JOB, not just a prom court crown for being popular.

I’m on the fence with who to like among the candidates, though there are plenty to hate. That’s good. I mean, if we didn’t have at least a few controversial scum puppies in the fray, the elections would be a very boring process indeed. Imagine turning on the tv and only seeing GOOD ads! How utterly droll.

“Bethie, did I detect a hint of sarcasm?”

NO-OHHH. None at all.

Too soon to back anyone, but at the moment, I’m kind of liking the cow tipper. MAPLE SYRUP FOR LYFE, HAG.

The second bit of news, which honestly really does relate to the first in a way we, as a nation, really need to consider, is that the border patrol on our south western quarter is now classifying undocumented babies as “illegal workers” in an effort to get them deported faster.

Look, I’m all the way up here in NH. Our neighbor country in my neck of the woods is Canada. Would you believe that we don’t really have a problem with Canadians sneaking over the border? In fact, up here, sneaking is often done the OTHER direction.

Because of this, my life in terms of living with and understanding the day to day effects of illegal immigration from southern nations is very, very sheltered. I get that. I do. And I’m not even going to pretend otherwise. Why should I? My truth is that I live in part of the country that does not deal with ANY aspects of it. So believe me, I know my opinion should most definitely be taken with a grain of salt.

…or should it?

We once painted my Grammie’s kitchen for her while she was away. She loved green, so my dad got a nice, bright green. The sample didn’t look garish or anything and we happily painted the night away. We let it dry and came back the next morning, pleased with how well we did. It wasn’t until someone else came in and saw it and said, “MY GAWD that’s HIDEOUS!” that we were able to step back and see beyond the hours of work we put in to the color itself. It was, indeed, hideous.

But while we were in the thick of it, we couldn’t see that. We were too focused on dealing with the paint and the rollers and covering furniture and masking off the woodwork…we were too focused on the details to see the overall picture.

Electrified gecko, by the way. That’s what I’d now call that color. Hid-e-ous.

Maybe me living in the US outside the divided “war” zone of immigration problems gives me not a sheltered view, but an overall look at the bigger picture that people who are in the thick of things can’t see for themselves?

The story about the babies being migrant workers goes like this. Classically, the forces that handle illegal immigration cases (from cops and agents, to lawyers and judges) don’t really consider babies to be threats.

Oh, how naive, right? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: All babies are just a hair’s breadth away from shanking you with a binkie.

They’ve conned the nation, though, and since folks buy into the “helpless” persona, babies aren’t viewed as a threat, and classically, deportation cases involving babies have been pushed to the side in our system that is overwhelmed and bogged down. The system puts a low priority on deporting babies, and instead focuses attention on captured adults. (And of those captured adults, they really only have the time and resources to really pursue folks who have committed crimes outside of simply being here illegally, or those whom the government has deemed a threat.)

The US border patrol sees the problem differently. Since many people come to the US illegally to have their babies on US soil, thus making the infants US citizens, they believe that cracking down on deporting babies will send a message to anyone considering crossing the border illegally. To make the cases a higher priority and to get more attention, the border patrol has…upped (?) their game (I’m not sure you’d call it that, but they really did go from zero to a billion) by listing the babies as illegal migrants who have done other illegal things, such as receive fraudulent welfare/social service benefits and illegally obtained identification paperwork to seek work. This is a big no-no right now, because the only thing the US hates more than non-working undocumented workers is tax-paying working ones.

In a nutshell, in the minds of the border patrol, labeling babies as illegals looking to steal resources and jobs puts a big red flag on the cases and they’ll be fast tracked and dealt with so swiftly that any expecting parents in southern nations wouldn’t even consider hopping the border before Jr. is born.

There are a couple problems with their theory, though.

First, anyone who is desperate enough to get out of their current situation for a shot at a better life for Jr. will not- I repeat- WILL NOT follow the case law for deportation of babies. They just won’t. They do not care. These are people who are poor or scared or so strung out living the life they have that they are willing to risk death itself for a shot at something that might be better. The decision to come to the US illegally to have a baby is NOT about what they can get from the US, but what they can give their child. Period.

And secondly…THEY ARE BABIES, ASSHOLES. No one, not a single cop, agent, lawyer or judge is going to look at the “rap” sheet of an 11 day old baby (true case, folks. 11 days old. DAYS.) and consider the individual to be dangerous. No one.

We need reasonable approaches to immigration reform, and arresting babies just isn’t it. All this does is make the US look like even bigger douchebags on the international front. Serious problems need serious solutions. I think they just took a company poll, put the suggestions on the Wheel of Fortune, and gave it a spin. That is honestly the only way I can think this idea became policy.

Hold on a sec…this just in. We have a breaking news story. Donald Trump has made a statement on his ideas for immigration reform:

“When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they’re rapists.”

*crickets**crickets*

Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen. Your latest 2016 presidential candidate.

“…you got any more of those Maple Syrup stickers kicking around, Bethie?”

Thus concludes a very long winded Muse for Wednesday, last day of school 2015. Honestly, if you stuck around this long, I’m duly impressed! That’s an extra hour of YouTube for you, my friend! Now be a good kid and don’t shank anyone with your binkie while Mummy goes and works on the car…

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